Conflict Theorists

Sociologists, particularly conflict theorists, analyze the experience of poor families through a lens of inequality and disparity. Single mothers and their children are much more likely to live in poverty than any other demographic group in the United States. The public can be quick to judge a family living in poverty, even when a mother is employed full-time. In the Chapter 4 reading in your textbook, the author offers a concrete example of a budgeting exercise for a single mother with two young children in Buffalo, New York (p. 144). Four potential jobs are utilized in this scenario, but there is always a monthly shortfall. Take some time to read this scenario and the Low-Income Working Mothers Report and reflect upon the budget and this family’s challenges. In a journal post, address the following questions by reflecting on the situation, the social institution, and sociological theory: Does this budget feel authentic or unrealistic? Do you see how this mother could cut expenses? What are the consequences for the children? What assumptions are made about families living in poverty? What are the environmental barriers that low-income single mothers face in climbing out of poverty?

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